Oral Hygiene in Prairie Village, KS

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is with good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.

How to Brush

If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office at Mark J. Gordon, DDS Phone Number (913) 649-4042.

Manuel Toothbrush

Dr. Gordon recommends using a soft bristled tooth brush. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort.

When you have finished cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.

To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.

Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface. After you are done, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing.

Electric / Battery Tooth Brushes

There are numerous styles and manufacturers of these types of brushes. As an introductory toward this type of toothbrush, the battery style brush seems to do a satisfactory job at plaque removal. However, the chargeable style has more technology behind the construction and produces the most effective results in plaque removal and achieving healthy gum tissues. There are several chargeable models of brushes that are very popular and all appear to achieve excellent results. The technique for brushing is different then manual as the patient relies on the rotary action of the toothbrush for plaque removal.

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How to Floss

Periodontal disease and decay issues usually appear between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.

Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18 long. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.

To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place. Bring the floss to the gum line then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.

To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.

When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your doctor. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.

Choosing Oral Hygiene Products

There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.

Automatic and high-tech electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. Our office recommends the Hydrofloss. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes called Rotadent, Braun Oral-Band Sonicare.

Depending on the health of the gum tissue we recommend other adjunctive plaque control aids such as a rubber tip stimulator and perio aid (a handle for the use of toothpicks) for removal of plaque at the gumline. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal/proxa brushes) that clean between your teeth as long as there is adequate space to insert the brush. Consistency and daily use of these products will help maintain healthy gum tissue.

Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, when used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Higher concentrated prescription strength fluoride toothpaste are often prescribe for patients with higher decay rates and/or those patients who have had extensive restorative dental treatment. Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gumline so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.


Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental plaque and calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is a very important part of your program to prevent gum disease. Our office suggests recall intervals at a minimum of every six months unless there are situations that warrant more frequent monitoring.

A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment preformed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums by a licensed dental professional. Dental prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
A dental prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and helping control the progression of gum disease.

The benefits of professional teeth cleaning include:

  • Plaque removal: Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below
    the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria, and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to identify potentially damaging buildup.
  • A healthier looking smile: Stained and yellow teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
  • Fresher breath: Bad breath (or halitosis) can be indicative of advancing periodontal disease. Food particles trapped below the gum line may contribute to bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus, and bacteria at our office can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection
  • Monitoring periodontal disease: It is beneficial to check the gums support periodically to identify potential areas of concern such as localized inflammation. These areas might need additional instrumentation to control the progression of gum disease and stabilized it allowing the patient to continue home care technique more easily.

Professional dental cleaning is a treatment service that our office provides. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed every six months as a preventive measure. However, some patients may need to be seen on a more frequent interval schedule. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but teeth cleaning is one procedure that Dr. Gordon’s office can use to effectively control its progression.

Mark J. Gordon, DDS

5 out of 5 stars based on 68 Dental Cleaning reviews.

Patient Review from Leonard G

My teeth have not felt this good in 30 years.

- Leonard G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Lauren A

Wonderful care.

- Lauren A

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Jeffrey W

I feel very fortunate that when I moved to KC that a colleague at work recommended Dr. Gordon, when I asked her for the name of the dentist she used. I have stuck with Dr. Gordon since then (1998), because he is terrific.

- Jeffrey W

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Susie M

I have been a patient of Dr. Gordon for years and have always had excellent care!

- Susie M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Connie R

Excellent service e over any years!

- Connie R

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Shelley P

I require excellent dental work and I get it here! Thanks to Linda and Dr Gordon.

- Shelley P

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Cheryl I

Makes dental appointments almost fun.

- Cheryl I

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review

I have been a patient since Dr. Gordon started his practice and I have received excellent care. The supporting staff is also truly outstanding.

- Anonymous

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Merilyn B

Great dental care.

- Merilyn B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Francie

I have been coming to Dr Gordon for many years. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my teeth as is he. He is very thorough and spends all the time necessary to be sure everything is as it should be and to answer any questions or concerns I have. I love Dot whom I consider far more than the person who makes my appointments and handles billing. I consider her a friend as well. Melinda is a terrific hygienist. She does more than a great job of cleaning...she knows my history and always remembers my last visit. I will continue to be a patient to as long as Dr. Gordon continues to practice!

- Francie

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Rob G

My favorite dentist!

- Rob G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review

Treatment is excellent, staff is friendly and efficient

- Anonymous

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review

Great practice

- Anonymous

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Jo Ann S

Dr. Gordon has been our family dentist for almost 20 years and we have always been well taken care Dr. Gordon has been our family dentist for almost 20 years and we have always been pleased with the care, professionalism, and friendliness of his office.

- Jo Ann S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from John W

Will continue with Dr.Gordon

- John W

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Michele M

Dr Gordon is the best. Friendly, professional, efficient. Great practice, highly recommend.

- Michele M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Patrick L

Awesome staff and office

- Patrick L

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review from Gary E

Exceed Excellent Staff and treatment

- Gary E

5 out of 5 stars on